The 7 Most Common Excuses for Not Exercising

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,pinterest,print,mail" sharebtn_style="icon" fixedwidth="yes" fixedwidth_px="30" counters=0 style="icon" template="18" point_type="simple"]
An overweight man and woman leaning on their fitness balls while looknig exhausted and demotivated.

Whenever we don’t want to do something like exercising we tend to think of creative excuses to get ourselves out of it. Excuses serve a simple purpose: to relieve some of the guilt associated with not doing whatever it was we said we were going to do.

Ultimately though, these excuses start to add up and disempower and diminish our lives. If you really want to do something, you will make time for it instead of making excuses.

Here are seven of the most common and disempowering excuses for not exercising that people give. Let’s look at each of them and how to overcome them one by one.

7 Excuses for Not Exercising

A woman anxiously pointing at her wristwatch which looks like a bedside alarm clock.

1. Don’t Have Enough Time

Nice try, but you aren’t the only one who is a wife/husband/parent, who works and who has millions of things to do. We all do. If the only time of the day to exercise is at 5am, then get up early and make it happen. It’s painful at first, but you’ll thank yourself afterwards and feel much better for the rest of the day.

2. Too Tired

Of course you are tired, who isn’t? Believe it or not, exercise actually boosts your energy levels. So you will be able to accomplish more during your day and not feel as exhausted if you make time to exercise.

If you are too tired after work, try going before work, even if it means getting up when it’s still dark out. Just make sure you have an exercise plan so that you don’t walk around the gym half asleep trying to think of what exercises to do.

3. I’m on My Feet All Day at Work and That Counts as My Exercise

This is one of the most difficult excuses to prove wrong because many people are convinced that their job is considered exercise. The only way your job counts as exercise is if you are an exercise instructor, a personal trainer who works out with his or her clients, or any other fitness-related job that involves sweating.

Even if you wear an odometer at work and find out you are walking 4 miles each day on the job, it counts as activity, not exercise. There is a big difference between the two.

Image of legs of several women in office attire.

4. Exercising Makes Me Hungry

Of course it does, you burn lots of calories! Some of us get hungrier than others after a good sweat session, but there are ways to avoid this. Eat a piece of fruit before your workout and make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after.

A lot of the time our brain will interpret thirst as hunger, so you think you are hungry, but it’s actually your brain telling you need water! If you are a beginner, this is more of a problem, but over time, the hunger goes away and your body adapts to the loss of calories.

5. I Never See Any Results

Sorry to say, but this is a very lame excuse. You don’t see results because a) you are not exercising regularly b) you eat too much junk which cancels out your workout c) you are expecting results too soon.

You don’t pack on 10 pounds in a week, so you can’t expect to lose 10 pounds in a week. Watch your “mindless” calorie intake. Are you snacking on candy between meals? Are you going out for margaritas twice per week? A margarita can have about 350 calories or more, which is about 30 minutes jogging on a treadmill!

Be patient and wait for 3 months to judge your results. If you are still not seeing results after 3 months, you should consider trying something different such as getting a personal trainer, seeing a nutritionist or changing your exercise routine.

A woman in a rabbit suit reluctantly looknig at the small weight in her hands.

6. Gyms Are Too Expensive

There are plenty of exercises you can do outside of a gym that are free, so this excuse is bogus. Walking outside and cycling is free and has a change of scenery.

Depending on where you live, there may be hiking groups, free yoga classes on weekend mornings, and you can even search for at-home exercise routines you can do in the comfort of your own home. If you have the space for it, invest in a treadmill or stationary bike to use at home (you can always check garage sales to get an even better deal)!

7. Can’t Find the Motivation

This is not an excuse, this is an actual problem some people have in starting or continuing an exercise routine. You need to determine what is keeping you from exercising. Is it lack of knowledge at the gym that kills your motivation? Is it not seeing results?

Everyone needs to set short- and long-term goals for themselves, whether it’s to lose 10 pounds in 3 months or to gain an inch in size on their arms. Try to be specific with your goals and write them down somewhere you see them every day. You could also try taking a picture of yourself as your “before” picture and take a progress picture every month in the same clothing and compare.


An oiled up fit woman in a bikini, posing on a beach shore.

Not every trick will motivate everyone. For some, it’s as simple as feeling energetic after the workout. For others, it’s to look stunning in a bikini on vacation. It also helps to tell your friends, family, and coworkers about your goals because it helps keep you accountable.

Don’t be too hard on yourself either, if you fail to follow through with a commitment on one day, just start afresh the next day. Seeing results and feeling better is about being consistent with exercise and eating right.

For a little extra incentive to avoid those excuses for not exercising, remember the famous quote: “Those who do not make time to exercise will need to make time for illness”. Do yourself a favor and make time for yourself to exercise, you’ll look and feel much better and quite possibly prevent health-related issues in the future.

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Leave a Comment